Personnel: Kim Burrell (vocals, background vocals); Kathy Burrell (vocals, background vocals); Chris Davis (various instruments); Wayne Bruce, Rhon Lawrence (guitar); Chris Edwards (keyboards); Mark Walker (bass guitar); Joey Oscar (drums, drum programming); Jay Williams (drums); LaKeisha Lewis, Christie Oscar (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris Davis ; Shawn M. George; Kim Burrell; Chris "Big Dog" Davis.
Recording information: CDS Studios, Waterbury, CT; Reid Temple, Glendale, MD; Universal Sound Studios, Houston, TX.
Photographer: Frank Stewart.
Arrangers: Chris Davis ; Kim Burrell; Chris "Big Dog" Davis.
Dubbed by some as "this generation's Ella Fitzgerald" for her uncanny brilliance at blending vocal jazz and gospel sensibilities, the veteran singer was hardly inactive during her years between her last Tommy Boy date in 2001 and this brilliant re-emergence on Shanachie in 2009. Craftily balancing secular and religious recording and performing endeavors, she's continued to be the toast of the gospel world while working with everyone from Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder to R. Kelly and, in 2009, George Clinton on the funkster's George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love, also on Shanachie. She reminds listeners of her secular and jazz vibes in a single swoop on the "Prelude" to this disc, scatting her way through a Wonder riff. Then she launches her full-on praise report with the vibrant, uptempo declaration "Happy," composed with her co-producer, Chris "Big Dog" Davis. Working with a colorful palette of arrangements, styles, and tempos, she follows a bold and brassy choir singalong like the title track and a thoughtful and contemplative "I Surrender All" with a lovely, passionate rendering of "Someone to Watch Over Me" -- a secular song she reinterprets as an expression of worship. From there, it's a mix of infectious renditions of well-known church tunes and beautiful originals (which could easily become standards of their own) like "Jesus" and the choir-enhanced "Yes to Your Will." In her liner notes, the powerhouse singer writes: "What an amazing life to live...music." Longtime fans waiting impatiently for this emotionally and spiritually compelling album to come along will be glad that she's making her own music again after years of applying her talents to the works of others. ~ Jonathan Widran